During the month of May, an exhibit called “Growing Farms” of images from Maine Farmland Trust’s Farm Viability Program is on display in the Centre Gallery of Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St.

The program is currently focused on farmers in the area around the central Maine town of Unity. Photographer Hugh Chatfield shows just some of the many farms being supported by this new program. Subjects include a traditional dairy farm that has defined this area’s agricultural community for decades, as well as small diversified farms that are part of fueling an expanding local foods economy.

Also on display are photos of local entities that play a critical role in the agricultural community such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

Through the work of its Farm Viability Program, Maine Farmland Trust is continuing to call attention to the importance of maintaining productive farmland that is needed to support vibrant farms, as seen through Chatfield’s photographs.

Chatfield, who lives in Manhattan part of the year and in Rockport for the rest of the time, had been offering his photographic talents to Maine Farmland Trust for a while. Finally, the perfect fit was found in documenting the Unity-area farmers working with the trust. Chatfield is so committed to Maine Farmland Trust that he has not only donated his time and talent to create these images, but he also is donating the resulting exhibit to the organization for future use. In 1995 Chatfield left a career as an actor to become a professional photographer. He thinks of Maine as the last best place on earth.

The gallery is open when there are performances or other functions in the building or by appointment at any time. For more information, call 568-3147; to view performance schedules, visit unityme.org.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.